“Yuck!” I thought as I narrowly avoided stepping in what looked like spit on the trail. It was another road race, and as usual, I was in the back, dodging items faster runners left along the way.
Runners are generally nice people, but they can be inconsiderate. And isn’t that true of most of us? When we are focused on the finish line, we forget courtesy.
You may never run a 5K, but you can transfer rules of the road to the game of life and cross the finish line with a cheer and good will.
Maybe the runners who do this forget there are people behind them. This is so gross. Think about the germs that get on the bottom of your shoe, and then tracked into your house.
In life, people are often spitting right in front of our path. This figurative germy substance could be in the form of negative words, manipulation or grouchiness.
Don’t Complain about your Slow Times
You may not have gotten through the pack at the beginning of the race like you wanted to, but the person in front of you who is thrilled with her time at Mile 1 will feel like a slow penguin when you say, “Oh, the first mile is so awful until you can get past the crowd.”
We do the same thing when we compare ourselves to others who are more organized, beautiful, wealthy, lean or smart. In reality, runners are only supposed to compete against the clock … and set a “PR” or “Personal Record.” If we all did this in life, we would experience less jealousy, stress and low self-esteem.
Do Give a Word of Encouragement
Nice runners say something to those who pass them and those they pass. Sometimes a simple, “You’re looking good!” can be enough to get a struggling racer through to the next water stop.
In life, let’s offer smiles, atta-boys and positive can-do phrases to those we work with, those we live with and those whose paths we cross.
Do Run Faster
It’s a race! Why are you slowing down? That is the self-talk I give myself. And isn’t it great advice for every day? We need to dream big! We can do more, be more and love more. We can run a step or two faster and make life better for others in so many ways. There will be time to slow down later … but this is not it.
Follow these rules, and the next time someone asks if you’re a runner, you can say, “Why, yes! I consistently win blue ribbons in the race of life.”
“Run in such a way that you may win.” I Corinthians 9:24 (NASB)